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St. Louis teen charged in deadly carjacking; three others sought

St. Louis teen charged in deadly carjacking; three others sought

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ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis teenager was charged Wednesday in what police say was a deadly carjacking in the city's Carondelet neighborhood days earlier.

Kai'von De'meze Johnson, 18, was charged with second-degree murder (also known as felony murder), first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action in the shooting death Sunday of Victor Gonzalez-Romero, according to court records.

Romero, 30, was shot multiple times before 11:25 p.m. in the 5200 block of Louisiana Avenue, near Walsh Street. Gonzalez-Romero lived in the same block of Louisiana. He was found dead on the sidewalk.

The killer or killers took Romero's black 2001 Isuzu Rodeo. Surveillance video recorded a Lexus RX300, which was stolen from a Clayton parking garage earlier in the day, pass the Isuzu and park at the curb, charges said. One of four suspects recorded by surveillance cameras exited the Lexus and shot Romero before one of the four hopped in the Isuzu. Both vehicles then fled the scene.

Two days later, police spotted the Lexus and chased it until it crashed at Prairie and Lee avenues, charges said. Johnson ran from the crash scene and was arrested. He told police he and three other males between 14 and 20 years old took the Lexus from the Clayton garage and went to rob Romero of his SUV.

Johnson said one of the others in the Lexus got out and shot Romero, charges said.

Johnson was held without bail Wednesday.

Carjackings in St. Louis have surpassed last year's total. The city is averaging nearly one carjacking a day. Through Sunday, there were 311 carjackings in St. Louis this year, compared with 309 in the same period last year.

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